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The Deacon's Corner

May 3, 2015

We as Christians are an Easter People because we know that Jesus died and rose for a reason; to open the gates of Heaven for us and to show us that nothing, not even death, is final. Living as Easter People means living with the confidence and hope in Jesus Christ that He does in fact, “make all things new." By our living witness of this hope in the Resurrection, imagine how many other people will begin to experience this hope in their lives.

Easter People have their hope renewed every Sunday. We realize that there is redemption of the other side of suffering.

Easter People cling to the people who love them. When times get tough, we need someone to lean on. it's only after we’ve come through the darkness that we realize that others were there urging us on, reminding us to watch our step.

Easter People remember who they are. There are precious things about us that are beautiful and unique because we are created in the image of God.

Easter People bring ioy to the world. Easter People share their hope outwardly and lift up those around them who need it.

Easter People breathe in the Holy Spirit. We have heard in the Gospels for the last four weeks that Jesus returned to His disciples and greets them by saying, Peace be with you". He repeats Himself and then breathes on them, bestowing on them the Holy Spirit and sending them out to carry on His work. Take a deep breath and live the example of Jesus, every clay for everyone.

April 26, 2015

Saint Theresa of Avila writes: “May nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass, God does not leave. Patient endurance attains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing: God alone is enough."

As we continue our Easter Journey of faith let us take to heart the words of St. Theresa who reminds us of what really matters in life, and that is if we know the living God we will lack nothing. Society today stresses the importance of fame, wealth, power, prestige and accumulative wealth. We may have all these things and still miss the message of the Risen Lord over the last three weeks. Jesus says what is important to him for us to have; “Peace be with you." Don’t be stressed out listen to Jesus and St. Theresa. If we have God we lack nothing. God alone is enough.

May the peace of the Living God be with you always!

April 19, 2015

EASTER: SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING

While we are cleaning out closets and sweeping under furniture, dusting behind those book shelves, dust off that favorite Bible and get ready for some SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING!

  1. Cleanse the heart- draw close to God and ask Him to do the cleansing.
  2. Cleanse the Mouth-get rid of negative talk, pessimistic thoughts that contradict the Word of God.
  3. Renew the Mind- remember, what we put in we put out. We must feed our minds with all that is Spiritual and uplifting. If we are constantly bombarded with the negative then we will become negative in all aspects of life.

The Risen Lord came that we might have life to the fullest. The Risen Lord rose that we may have newness of life. Take advantage of Resurrection Power! Ask Jesus to come into your heart, mouth and mind. Ask the Lord to throw out the old and bring in the new.

April 12, 2015

EASTER: SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING

While we are cleaning out closets and sweeping under furniture, dusting behind those book shelves, dust off that favorite Bible and get ready for some SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING!

  1. Cleanse the heart- draw close to God and ask Him to do the cleansing.
  2. Cleanse the Mouth-get rid of negative talk, pessimistic thoughts that contradict the Word of God.
  3. Renew the Mind- remember, what we put in we put out. We must feed our minds with all that is Spiritual and uplifting. If we are constantly bombarded with the negative then we will become negative in all aspects of life.

The Risen Lord came that we might have life to the fullest. The Risen Lord rose that we may have newness of life. Take advantage of Resurrection Power! Ask Jesus to come into your heart, mouth and mind. Ask the Lord to throw out the old and bring in the new.

April 5, 2015

[Jesus] began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch." He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will" (Mark 14:33-36).

Let us be honest Church, we all want to be "ln that Number". We all can envision what the Kingdom might be like. We are taught that there is no pain, suffering, poverty, death and destruction, famine, wars or rumors of wars. But when it comes to "Your will be done", we come to a screeching halt. lt is OK only if at the time we pray His will and our will matches up, otherwise it’s a game changer.

If we are true followers of Christ, then the words ofJesus must also be ours, "Your will be done, not my will".

"But not what I will but what you will"

March 29, 2015

(Luke 17:3-4) Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, “l am sorry” you should forgive him.

God wants us to forgive one another, but He also wants us to forget all the past offenses that people have committed against us. Forgiveness is a decision of the will, but it becomes even more powerful and complete when we pray for supernatural strength to FORGET as well. Jesus not only forgives our sins each time we come to Him in the confessional, but He also forgets them. We must therefore choose to forget our past mistakes and those of others, if we want to progress in the spiritual life with Jesus and enjoy the fruits of His forgiveness.

FORGIVE ...................... FORGET

March 22, 2015

Lenten Psalm

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, Say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." For He will rescue you from the snare of the fowler, from the destroying pestilence. With His pinions he will cover you, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His faithfulness is a buckler and a shield.

The Lord is our refuge and our strength. If we trust, no evil shall befall us, no affliction shall come near your tent. How great is our God! As each of us stands in line for our blessing, let us be patient and wait on the Lord. If we cling to him, he will deliver us, strengthen us, heal us and bless us. The Lord our God promises that if we call upon His name, He will answer us, be with us in distress and show us His salvation.

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!

March 15, 2015

A Lenten Prayer Called the Passion

“Dear Lord Jesus, by Your Passion and Resurrection You brought life to the world. But the glory of the Resurrection came only after the sufferings of the Passion. You laid down Your life willingly and gave up everything for us. Your body was broken and fastened to a Cross, Your clothing became the prize of soldiers, your blood ebbed slowly but surely away, and Your Mother was entrusted to the beloved disciple.

Stretched out on the Cross, deprived of all earthly possessions and human aid, You cried out to Your Father that the end had come. You had accomplished the work given You, and You committed into His hands, as a perfect gift, the little life that remained to You.

Lord, teach me to accept all afflictions after the example You have given. Let me place my death in Yours and my weakness in Your abandonment. Take hold of me with Your love, that same foolish love that knew no limits, and let me offer myself to the Father with You so that I may rise with You to eternal life."

Let us take some quiet time alone and reflect on the words of this Lenten Prayer. It is food for thought.

March 8, 2015

LENT 2015 - THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER

Prayer is an important part of the Christian life. We should pray with expectant faith. We should be listening as well as speaking to God. God should be our main focus. When we praise the Lord, our minds will let go of worldly things and center on Him. A major part of us should surrender to His lordship, seeking His will in all matters.

Having strong faith is a lifetime commitment. In order to reach that point on our journey to the Father, we need to make a daily appointment with Him. We have to be consistent and not allow our daily routine to get in the way of spending time in conversation with the Lord. Notice I said “CONVERSATlON". Yes, we need to pray the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father. But it so important that we pour out our hearts to the Lord. He is our best friend. He listens, loves, forgives and lifts us up. Make Prayer a Priority.

March 1, 2015

"Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. Above all it is a "time of grace" (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the iniustices they endure... Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I d0n’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront."

I don’t know about you but these opening words of his Holiness sparks my faith and hope in God. Think about it:

God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us.

Each one us has a place in his heart.

He knows us by name, he cares for us and seeks us out.

His love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us.

Our love should not allow us to be indifferent to the needs of our sisters and brothers in the Lord.

February 8, 2015

Mr. Fixit

Have you ever tried to fix the car, the heater, plumbing or electrical problems and failed? Indeed we all have tried to play Mr. and Mrs. Fixit. So it is with the struggles we encounter in life. Some of the things we struggle with on our own we should let go of and let God take charge. The part of our lives that we have tried and failed to repair can be restored by the hand of God. Through faith in Jesus, we can be made whole.

Think of the hymn "Fix Me Jesus". Jesus does all things well. if your body is frail, you find yourself confused or depressed, worry about your spouse or your children, then take it to the Lord in prayer and Jesus will "Fixit".

February 1, 2015

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you". What comforting words from our Lord and Savior. Even in the worst of times, we have inner tranquility because our God is in control. We can be encouraged that throughout our lives the Lord will give us the grace, mercy, and peace we need to live for Him.

God gives grace when the burdens of life grow greater, He sends strength when the labors increase; when trials and afflictions increase He adds mercy. “He gives to all life, breath, and all things." We sense God’s grace in the midst of burdens when we can smile even though the road is rough and the going gets tough. We know that He has given us strength when we can find the power to “look to the hills from whence cometh our help". We can be thankful when in the time of affliction and remember that "He will not give us more than we can bear".

Let us journey through life with a grateful spirit for His grace is immeasurable, His peace is inexpressible, and His mercy endures forever.

January 25, 2015

Have you ever chosen a certain path, only to find yourself regretting that decision later? Life contains a series of choices, some as small as what to eat for dinner, and others with eternal impact. Facing these crossroads can seem overwhelming, but scripture offers guidelines to give us confidence and direction. When facing decisions let us turn to the Word of God for help.

  1. James 1: 5-6: "if anyone of you is without wisdom, let him ask it from the God who gives generously and ungrudgingly to all, and it will be given him". His Spirit resides within the believer and is available for guidance.
  2. We need to pay attention to our internal condition when we pray. Are we hungry, angry, lonely or tired? These conditions can greatly affect the prayer we offer to God.
  3. 1 Cor. 13:12: "Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now: then I shall know even as I am known". . God views the whole picture. It is VITAL that we "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight". Proverbs 3:5-6

January 18, 2015

Author Bill Crowder writes about distractions. He says that he drives the same highway to and from his office, and every day he sees an alarming number of distracted drivers. Usually they’re talking on the cell phone, texting, reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, or eating in a car, traveling at 70+ miles per hour! In a vehicle moving at that rate of speed, a driver can cause an accident that could result in serious injury, or even death.

Sometimes we are distracted while praying. We enter into our time with the Lord with the best intentions and before we know it, something distracts us. Distraction was a concern Jesus had. if you remember the story of Martha and Mary, the two sisters were at odds over the preparations of the meal being prepared for Jesus. Martha is troubled and complains to Jesus about Mary.

Let us not allow the distractions that sometime occur in life prevent us from spending valuable time in the presence of the Lord. We need to spend time with Him praying and listening for Jesus is deserving of our devotion. We most often are unable to overcome the distractions, but time well spent with Jesus will help us overcome them.

January 11, 2015

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

One day, after celebrating Mass, Pope Leo X11 was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared that he had died. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion: "Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see".

He had been shown a vision of evil spirits who had been released from Hell and their efforts to destroy the Church. But in the midst of the horror the archangel St. Michael appeared and cast Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell. Soon afterwards Pope Leo composed the prayer to Saint Michael.

When you feel oppressed and life seems to be a constant struggle pray: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do you, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

January 4, 2015

Theotokos: Mary, the Mother of God

Theotokos is a Greek word that means “God-bearer" or “Birth-giver to God". The Virgin Mary is the Theotokos, the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son and Word of God. it is her Feast Day we celebrate on January 1st (New Year’s Day), the octave day of Christmas. On this day church celebrates the divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the highest title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Feast helps bring home the reality of the incarnation, that God did not simply briefly appear in human form, but actually inseparably united himself to a human nature. In Jesus, God truly became man and this man had, and still has a mother, so affirmed the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 AD confirming the title of Mary as Mother of God.

The songs we sing and the cards we write extol the babe of Bethlehem as Emmanuel, God with us. He is so with us that after Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin of Nazareth the Divine Word can never be divided from our humanity.

Let us pray: Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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